“One of the best love stories I’ve ever read.” —Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give
“Read this one, reread it, and then hug it to your chest.” —Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Debut author Justin A. Reynolds delivers a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and John Green.
When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.
But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.
Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.
Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.
About the Author
Justin A. Reynolds has been a pest control operator, night security guard, steel mill janitor, NASA intern, salesman of high-end faucet fixtures, and carpetflooring installer. He was most recently a registered nurse before trading his stethoscope for a pencil, but he likes to think both instruments reveal the heart. He lives in northeast Ohio, home to snow, Lake Erie, and the Cavaliers. Opposite of Always is his first novel. You can visit Justin at www.justinareynolds.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I’m so excited about this book! I love time travel stories so I was interested in how this story would work. It’s like the movie Groundhog Day, because Jack keeps living the same period of time over and over again so that he can save his girlfriend. Even though he did travel back in time, it wasn’t a science fiction story. It’s contemporary with a diverse cast. There was a lot of diversity and representation in this story. The main characters were black. Kate has a chronic illness called sickle cell disease. I had heard of it before, but I didn’t know the details of the disease before reading this story. It is so important to have representation of different medical conditions, as well as different ethnicities, so that a variety of readers can see themselves in stories. I was very happy to see this in this story. This is a fun story that is heartbreaking at times. It’s hard to put down, because you will want to know how it ends! I loved this book! I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not normally a time travel person, but everything else about this is a "me" book. I love romance, contemporaries, and anything with great characters. In the end, I 'm glad I didn't skip over this book because only one part didn't appeal to me. I would have missed out on something amazing! When Jack and Kate meet at a party, they fall for each other.... Hard. But instead of the fun romance they should have had, things get complicated. Kate is sick and then she dies. But instead of mourning her, Jack is sent back to the beginning. Jack has no idea what he's supposed to do, just that something has to be different. It takes awhile, but Jack must repeat these few months over and over until he can get things right. The ONLY thing I didn't care for about this one was the time travel aspect. I knew this was going to be an issue for me, so I'm not going to dwell too much on it. It's not that it was bad, but it was repetitive. And for it to be 450 pages, it was a bit much. I liked the way some of the aspects of the story changed with each "respawn" (for lack of a better word lmao) but after 5 times, again, it was a bit much. Everything else I adored. There are NO books about African Americans and romance and there are especially none with a male lead, so I LOVED this. It was super original and not like anything I'd read before. This book will definitely stand-out from other contemporary romances for various reasons. I also adored the romance. Kate brought such an amazing presence to this story and I thought she was so good for Jack. They were so cute together and I was hoping they made it so they could boh get what they wanted. Lastly, if you're planning on reading this one, get some tissues ready. It takes alot for me to cry real tears when I'm reading, (normally I get teary eyed but that's it) but this time I shed actual tears. And it wasn't just the one time lol It was every time they had to "respawn." Everytime it was so heart wrenching. Even after reading it four times I still wasn't ready for when it came up again. It's hard to believe this is a debut book because of how good and memorable it is. This book will definitely be one that I will remember because of the characters, the romance, and the time travel for a long time coming. I hope that you all will read and love this as much as I do.
I wanted to like this book, I really did, but I couldn't. There were a few things that were good and many more that were so incredibly bad. Let's start with the good things: 1. The development of Franny and Jillian. I found them to be interesting characters to read about that left me wishing that there was more with them in the book. Overall, I found that although they were the most developed in the book, they lacked a little bit of characterization that would make them fully rounded, but I still appreciated and enjoyed their characters. 2. The Time Loop Idea. I liked seeing how Jack's different choices led him to different outcomes and how that was a ripple effect to all his relationships around him. 3. The writing. I found the writing to be simple but developed and well thought out that led it to be very enjoyable to read. I liked its simplicity because it made it seem like how a teenage boy would truly talk which helped you understand Jack as a character more. Now for the bad things: 1. Kate. It might just be me because other readers seem to enjoy her, but I do not at all! I find her secretive and untrustworthy and just so unlikable. She blames Jack for everything that goes wrong even when he is just trying to help her, she insults him and then bounces back like everything is ok but most of all, (spoiler ahead) she dumps Jack for her ex-boyfriend and then just decides to take Jack back without an explanation or an apology of why she dumped him in the first place! She takes no responsibility for her actions and is one of the main reasons I hate this book. 2. Jack and Kate's Relationship. It was a classic YA fiction romance, hardly anything in common, not much interaction and when they do get together, it's only physical and nothing else. It was boring, it was bland, it was aggravating to hear about. 3. The repetition of scenes. I like the time loop idea, I really do, but when you have to read the same Kate and Jack scene 5 times, it gets so boring and repetitive that it made me want to rip my hair out just for something to entertain me. I didn't expect this to be a problem because I enjoy time loop and repetition of scenes in other books, but it was just not handled well in this book. 4. Jack's one track mine. What does Jack think about? Kate. What does Jack care about? Kate. Why is Jack doing this? For Kate. What is Jack throwing all his other friends and happiness for? Kate. It's so aggravating to watch Jack throw away everything to help Kate over and over again. It is frustrating for me as a reader and made me dislike him and Kate even more. 5. Who Jack ended up with. Now this is the one I think most people will disagree with but I did not like Jack and Kate at all, but I LOVED Jack and Jillian. I found them so caring for each other and their relationship was so much more developed and interesting because it stemmed from their friendship. Although the timing was definitely wrong, their relationship was so amazing and I really wished the book had done a twist and made him end up with Jillian instead. There are a lot more things I disliked about this book but these are the most important ones in my opinion. While I don't think this book is the worst I've ever read, it is one of the most repetitive and aggravating books to have to read. I really wanted to like this book based on how much I loved the premise, but I just can't. So based on all of this, I give "The Opposite of Always" a 1/5 stars.
I DNFed(did not finish) this book. Personally, i felt that it was very cookiecutter and overall very flat. I picked it up because two of my favorite authors reviewed it, but ended up returning it.